Looping through the Mormon Arts, from me to me

11.30.09 | | 8 comments

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Though this post is by it’s very nature heavily self-indulgent, I am going to try to spin it as more altruistic than it is.

Altruism #1: Katya’s Mormon Arts Wikia is exploding. BYU’s Mormon Literature & Creative Arts database is still an excellent resource and in many respects superior, but, for instance, Katya’s wiki offers scads more plays. And I don’t know how the discussion has been going, but I’ve been able to make additions and improvements to Mormon Arts Wikia without cutting my hair first. And it’s not Wikipedia–not only can you work on your own article, you are encouraged to. And once you fix it up, it’s fixed up. (Can you tell I’m a wikivangelist?) So go do some work on this handy resource that I used in writing up this post.

Altruism #2: I’m using this post to point you in the direction of some Mormon writers you might not know or have never read. There’s some dead people here. There some just-barely-not-teenagers-anymore on here.

Altruism #3: If this post inspires you to buy The Fob Bible, the proceeds go to LDS Humanitarian Services and help make me a famous commodity, righteous endeavors both.

Looping the Loop, with Theric

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MyHow Long Till Two Times” deals with the confusion of Adam and Eve after leaving the Garden, much like

Davey Morrison‘s “Adam and Eve,” but both these works agree with

Genesis” by Danny Nelson that mortality was totally worth whatever bad results accompanied. That’s a particularly Mormon idea stated most clearly by Eve in

The Book of Moses that we have through Joseph Smith. He was good friends with

Parley P. Pratt whose autobiography (at least the first half) is one of the great Mormon books.

Doug Thayer recently got into the autobiography game too with his Hooligan, for which he got a serious ribbing from

Patrick Madden in the essay “The Infinite Suggestiveness of Common Things.” That essay spends some time talking about dictionaries, something

Orson Scott Card once wrote one of. Saintspeak, it’s called. Not to be confused with

Sisters and Little Saints: One Hundred Years of Primary, though I’m sure one could make a sexist joke if one were so inclined. You know what kind of people I’m talking about. Anyway, one of that book’s authors shares a name with

David O. McKay, whose smokin’ hot correspondence with his wife was published as Heart Petals, which is about as cheesy a title as

The Heart Has Forever by Kerry Lynn Blair, who helped found the Whitney Awards. At the last Whitney’s, the winner for best novel was

Sandra Grey‘s Traitor, which is about a European citizen resisting the Nazis. Only hers is set in France and

Michael O. Tunnell‘s Brothers in Valor was set in Germany.

Dean Hughes‘s Children of the Promise series also featured heroic WWII-era German Mormons, but probably most European Mormons in Mormon lit are emigrating converts, such as in

Nephi Anderson‘s classic Added Upon, which also played in big ways with the preexistence  much like

Rachel Nunes‘s In Your Place which was her first-written (but not first-published) novel. Another first-written-but-not-published-novel-writing novelist is

Betsy Brannon Green, making Hearts in Hiding her first published work.

Matthew Greene (no relation) had a play, “Variations on a Breakup“, premiere last year. And speaking of breakups,

The Nephiad is Michael Collings‘s epic poem on the breakup of Laban’s head from his body. Epics. That reminds me of

Brandon Sanderson‘s Mistborn Trilogy, which is an old-timey sort of thing I suppose, like

Shannon Hale‘s Princess Academy only totally different. And now, because  we’re Mormons and thus we love hints of a vaguely chiastic structure, let’s make the obvious connection from her fairy tale back to one by

Danny Nelson–let’s say “The Giantess and the Shiverbird,” and from there to

Davey Morrison’s cleverly named “A Fairy Tale” and from there back to

me. Because I’ve also written things that end in death. for instance, “The Oracle.”

Now. My challenge for you. In the comments, break my loop open and work in yourself or someone you love. Or someone you think is totally overrated. That’s okay too.

8 comments: “Looping through the Mormon Arts, from me to me

  1. Wm Morris

    I hate to say, it Theric, but you are no Kevin Bacon. Not even close.

  2. Davey Morrison

    Between my “Adam and Eve” and Danny Nelson’s “Genesis,” I’m sure we could work in Eric Samuelsen’s “The Plan” (it was the most obvious place to fit something by Eric, who I think is not only one of the nicest and smartest people in the world, but also probably the best playwright ever to deal consistently and interestingly with Mormonism).

    Also, I want to find a way to include Samuel Taylor’s “Heaven Knows Why” and one of Margaret Young’s stories (the one about the zoo is my favorite thing ever), and probably some other stuff (lots of great poetry, for instance), but I’m drawing a blank and have errands to run, so if anyone wants to fill in for me, go right ahead.

  3. Th.

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    Everytime you mention is, “Heaven Knows Why” shoots back to the top of my list. Maybe this time I’ll finally run it down.

    And I don’t know any of MY’s short fiction. Do you know of any online links?

  4. Luisa Perkins

    Uh, some of my German grandmother’s recipes appear in my cookbook Comfortably Yum, which is still very much in print, unlike Dean Hughes’s Children of the Promise series.

    (Smokin’ hot correspondence between a prophet and his wife? Must. Get. Immediately.)

  5. Th.

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    CoftheP is outofprint? Wha— How— Shouldn’t they have just released it in paperback?

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